Mirren and Fonda: Two grandes dames defy the years
What can Dame Helen Mirren and Hollywood dowager Jane Fonda teach you about make-up after 50? Read and learn from the experts. By Alice Hart-Davis reports for The Daily Mail.
I’m here for the launch of L’Oreal’s new Age Perfect (big plug warning – the Publisher) make-up range which, the brand promises, is going to be a game-changer for women over 50.
But to be honest I’m completely distracted by the fact that Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes is having her eyeliner done over here, former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl is submitting to blue lipstick on her lower lip over there and . . . oh my goodness! ‘Is that . . ?’ I hiss to the girl standing next to me. ‘Yes,’ she says. ‘That’s Jane Fonda.’
Right. But it’s not just that, is it? She has been perfectly open about the fact she has had work done — in 2010, she said her looks were due ‘30 per cent to genes, 30 per cent to good sex, 30 per cent to exercise and, for the remaining 10 per cent, I have to thank my plastic surgeon’ — but, damn, she looks spectacular.
What may be helping is what she’s wearing on her face — L’Oreal’s new Age Perfect Foundation, which is also being used on Helen Mirren, who is also sitting demurely nearby, her white-blonde fringe clipped neatly away from her face.
That she and Jane Fonda are here at all is testament to the major revolution in our approach to ageing.
L’Oreal’s global make-up director, Val Garland, is putting the finishing touches to a model’s looks. Val is a big fan of make-up for the older face: ‘As we age we need make-up because everything softens,’ she explains. ‘Everything seems to move into the background, so you need make-up to bring your features back into definition.
‘Make-up can be your armour and your confidence. You can use it just to give yourself a lovely complexion, or you can put on a great colour lipstick and then people say: ‘Don’t you look well!’
But many women become reluctant to use make-up as they get older, hating the way eye shadow vanishes into crepey eyelids, foundation sits in wrinkles and lipstick bleeds into the myriad tiny wrinkle lines around the mouth.
Hydration, hydration, hydration! Your skin needs moisture. What you want is to capture a youthful glow and the suppleness that is often missing from older skin. Once you’ve got the skin right, you’ve won 70 per cent of the battle.
Use a BB cream or a lighter foundation for a gentle covering. These don’t look cakey because they have special blurring particles in them, so they don’t stick in the lines.
I like to powder down the forehead and the centre of the face, and where the light hits by the side of the nose, but don’t powder your cheeks — you want a nice shine on them.
Beware highlighters. Powder highlighters look great on the catwalk or red carpet, but if you have an older face and want to create that illusion, I would get a tiny bit of moisturiser on your finger- tips and tap it along the top of the cheekbones. That will give you that glow-from-within look. I hate a shiny powdered stripe on a wrinkle.
One rule here: Sink the pink. You do not want to be the older lady with the pink blush. You will look as if you have rosacea, or like a bit of an alcoholic.
What you are looking for is a very soft blush in a peachy apricot or bronze colour, or something earthy. I like to take a foundation colour that’s more peachy or bronze, and work that over the cheek so that it gives a pinched-cheek effect.
You need a good concealer to disguise any hollows or bags under the eyes. But my main rule for eye make-up is: mascara! Use an eyelash curler to curl lashes because that will instantly open up your eyes.
It’s nice to get a bit of mascara into the root of the lower lashes, but just touch it to the roots to get definition rather than coating them all over, otherwise it can drift. Older eyes can look a bit pink along the waterline [the inner rim of the eyelid], so you could try a cream-coloured eyeliner here to make your eyes appear brighter.
If you have crepey eyelids that fold down on themselves, don’t fret about using eye shadow, but use a brown or grey eye pencil and work it into the lash line and onto the outer corner of the eyelid because that will help open up the eyes.
Helen Mirren image by Jonas Brennan for L’Oreal Age Perfect lipstick.
Jane Fonda image from L’Oreal.